New to reining HELP!

I’m switching from hunters to reining I have a great trainer and just bought a Reiner. What tack do I need ( I have nothing western). Best jeans to ride in along with best boots( I have several pair of Ariat cowboy booths I have been using)Is it like hunters where if I buy to better bridle it will last longer because the quality is so much higher? Saddles ? I’m short (5’2) and prefer to buy used but still want a good saddle any brands that are better? Not planning to show for a bit but would like to only buy stuff 1x. Thanks in advance!

Ask ur trainer to suggest. Nothing worse than buying equipment and attire and having ur trainer prefer something else. There are saddles specific for reining. As to attire can vary from location. Ask ur trainer!


I am 4’11" and have a reining show saddle for short people. :innocent:
That means it has junior sized fenders, but also have the adult sized fenders, stored away.
After trying many saddles, this one is like riding in a cloud, very secure, especially in deep stops and still you can feel every twitch of the horse, drapes around their back perfectly.

Now, is a 15" seat, most reining saddles tend to be 16", fit more people’s hind ends.:stuck_out_tongue:
You need to ask your trainer what size you would need.
Mine is a 2013 Kyle Cicero, used when bought, with minimal silver.
There are several other top brands, go to bigger reining shows and you will see what all the vendors have, new and used.
I took the fancy square, diamond shaped conchas out and put round ones with D’s and leather strings on the D’s.
This way it can be also used to show ranch classes and taking the strings off still will work for any reining class and conchas can be changed back for fancy classes like Futurities and Derbies.
If you are just now starting, it would be some years before you may be ready to show in those big classes.
Telling you about my saddle so you get an idea of some of the thoughts that go into reining saddles.

Since so many shows now offer ranch classes, you may want to also get a saddle that fits both.
Those classes are very good for you and your horse, will break the so technical reining ones into more of a relaxed, just riding and putting those basic reining skills in use while just riding around doing other than reining.

See what your trainer thinks, may even have some customers that may be thinking of selling their saddles, maybe upgrading and theirs should be perfect for a beginner.
The right, well fitting saddle can make learning to rein easier.

Have any pictures of your horse to share, any stories, keeping personal details and names out, just generalizations, of course.
We love pictures and stories.

Good luck on your journey, cross training is always a great step forward in our horse education.

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Thank you for the information. I’m going to work with trainer just wanted idea what i’m getting into and your answer was perfect. I just bought a 2 yr old reining bred gelding and am also interested in playing in ranch riding. I have 20+ years hunter jumper so I know the different price levels of saddles tack and attire, but other then the jeans I wear when we go to dude ranch’s unsure what jeans, tack etc I will need to start looking for. I’m so excited to learn this new discipline!


He looks like a LOVELY horse!

Lovely is right, and also kind looking, that is always a plus.

Thanks for the picture. :hugs:

Your new boy is beautiful! Enjoy!

As far as jeans go, I’m partial to Wranglers Cowboy cut, but what I like might not fit you comfortably. What ever you choose, make sure they are for riding so they don’t have the rolled inseam that nonriding jeans have. You’ll feel that lump under your leg, and it won’t be a good feeling. :wink: If you live near a western wear type store go in and try as many different types of jeans as they have so you get a comfortable fit. Get enough length to the leg that you have a stack over your boots. Normally this means your pant leg will touch the ground when you are standing,

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Ha, very short people have to CUT bottoms off, we have no worry about bottom reaching the ground. :stuck_out_tongue:

I wear heavyweight stretch denim Wranglers Cowboy Cut slim fit, # 937 and also the regular fit when they don’t have the slim fit, there is little difference in them, just a little fuller all around.
I have to cut or fold back several inches on the shortest length, 30".

Gorgeous horse!!

Well, if you want to do reining / ranch horse, you’ll be looking for either a reining saddle or roping saddle or some type of all-around ranch saddle. Keep in mind that if a show (assuming AQHA) offers both Ranch Reining and regular Reining, you CANNOT enter in both at that show. Rules prohibit it.

It’s also hard to know what you are going to like since you haven’t really gotten going yet. Can you ride in some of your trainer’s saddles and see what feels comfortable to you?

I primarily barrel race so that’s most comfortable to me. But I like my horses well-rounded. I like to be able to go to a small open show and do a decent reining pattern (sans sliding stops). I also like to show AQHA ranch horse and we are actually going to one tomorrow.

I don’t actually rope myself, I tomorrow I am going to be using a new Trail saddle actually. Which is fine. No one cares. It’s fits my horse and it fits me. Last year I used a lighter colored roping saddle I bought but turned out it didn’t fit my horse so I got rid of it.

Dark colors are “in” again.

You’re horse is young so start going to watch some shows and see what everyone else is using! And ask your trainer.

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Dark saddle colors and contrast in colors, light base with dark edges, are in.
So are super square skirts with pointy ends, but remember, those are fads, they come and go,
Best to see what you like or is more traditional, not extreme, and stick with it, it will be fine.
Even if your saddles and outfit are not following any one fad, neat and clean and good quality will always be acceptable.

How IS he bred?

LOL! Bluey, I’m 5’8", so need a 36 inch inseam to not look like a dork. LOL My problem is finding the inseam. Even when I was in an area (NYS) that readily had the jeans I liked, finding the inseam was the problem. 32 inch won’t be doing it for this girl. I’m lucky to find them at 34" around eastern Ontario (Canada). It sucks to be tall sometimes. I’ve looked for other brands to try, but it’s rare that I can find them, and then they are usually priced over what I’m willing to pay without being able to try them on first. Wranglers are not cheap around here unfortunately.

I order mine directly from Wranglers:

Some times certain sizes are hard to find locally also, but since is what most ranch people wear, men and women, because they last well, all stores here carry them, Tractor Supply and any other store has some.


Exchange rates can really suck. So if I’m not sure they will fit, I don’t tend to order. I got off really lucky with a hunt jacket once, not so sure since.

I have been buying the same Wranglers for 40 years, so know the size just fine.
As I gained a pound here and there, just ordered the next size up, same length, since I didn’t grow taller, just rounder.

If you don’t know your size, yes, shipping can add up fast, not worth it.

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Even knowing my size, I’ve had them fit off. I got lucky once buying a lovely white suit that I still have stashed somewhere that fit beautifully, but other than the hunt jacket, I just don’t trust anything to fit.

I showed in the Ranch classes and occasional reining class, and I know that no one cares what’s “in” in those classes. Just use what works for you. I rode in a Bob’s cowhorse saddle, in a Martin trail saddle and in a training saddle by Blue Ribbon (no silver, medium color). It didn’t make a bit of difference. (I ended up selling the Bob’s because it was so heavy.)

I’m 5’9" and wear Q-Baby jeans by Wrangler, with a 38" inseam to get the “stack” I like. Long sleeve denim shirt, wild rag, well-shaped hat, chinks. But half of the competitors aren’t wearing chinks or chaps in the Ranch classes. It’s held onto its goal to keep the fads out of it, for the most part.

I about gagged when I saw Harris had a new Ranch saddle, for $7500. You don’t need to spend that kind of money because no one notices. I bought each of those saddles used, online.

What you wear is totally up to you in reining. You’ll see sparkles and sequins, even fringe, but mostly you’ll see plain shirts but in bright colors or with interesting embroidery. My favorite boots are by Lucchese; I have a high instep and they fit me best, although I always have them stretched once I get them. I can’t even get other brands on my foot to see how they feel. It’s annoying, and expensive, but I’m wearing boots I bought 12 years ago.

I used to show in the all-around classes, but switched to Ranch at the very start, before it was even approved at the APHA shows but just starting in AQHA. It was very common to have people come over to where the ranch and reining classes were to watch because they could hear people cheering and clapping for each other. Competitors rooting each other on. It’s a fun group. I hope it stays that way as it grows in popularity in the breed and open shows.

Your horse is beautiful, by the way. Have fun with him in your new adventure!


Jeans are personal preference I think. I’m on an ariat and grace in la kick right now for jeans.

For boots you can’t beat twisted x prices or comfort for every day barn boots. If you want nice “show” looking boots, sky’s the limit on exotic materials and colors and soles.

I would suggest buying a used reining saddle. You’ll get a higher quality saddle for the same $ as you’ll buy a low quality new saddle. I’m very partial to Bob’s and Sean Ryon (although they are very hard to find), many others love Continental (although I find they don’t hold up to how much I ride). Most brands will make a “Lady Reiner” which will be a saddle with a narrow twist to the seat and shortened fenders for smaller folks. Ask your trainer if they have any saddles you can try, the more brands and styles the better, then you can get a feel for what you like and don’t like. How much pocket a seat has, the rise and even horn style are preference and can impact how you sit and are able to ride effectively.

Most everything else is going to vary based on your horse as far as pads, boots, cinches bits etc.
Many reiners love Classic Equine products, others like Professional Choice, and others Smart Pak or something else.

Congrats on your new pony, that is so exciting! Wishing you many years of sliding and spinning!

My first reining saddle was a Bob’s lady reiner and I loved it, wonderful saddle.
Then I had a chance to try the fancy Kyle Cicero model my trainer had.
That was a whole 'nuther level of fit, really helped you feel a horse move and help the horse.
Trainer found me a used one like that at Kyle’s.

The master saddle maker Cicero is getting older, his students are getting very good themselves.
Our old saddles were Windy Ryon, Amy Gamblin model.
For ranch saddles we had Bob Marrs and have Oliver and son here, is what many cowboys use.

I think the OP would do best to see if her trainer lets her try several models and see what fits her best.

Welcome to the dark side!! Coming from the English riding world it required a bit of an adjustment for me. Saddle wise, in the beginning I found the Bob’s Lady Reiner comfortable and it offered me a sense of security while I adjusted to letting go and moving forward. I now ride in a flatter more open seat and find the Lady Reiner too restrictive. The Kimes jeans have fit me the best. Boot wise, if you can find boots that have a ridge on the bottom. My Anderson Beans have held up very well and I haven’t been very kind to them! Bridles, in my opinion you really can’t go wrong with a nice work bridle. Don Rich, Dennis Moreland Tack, The Saddlehouse, Kyle Tack. Many people just go into the ring with a work bridle. A blinged up headstall isn’t really needed. but it looks nice.
I hope this helps. Just my two cents… the reins are where it’s at. I just noticed that Dennis Moreland has retired…awwww man…
I hope this helps!